Seems like absolutely everything about the Democrat Party is hopelessly corrupt and dysfunctional these days.
While it was hard to call a winner between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders last night, it’s easy to say who was luckier.
The race between the Democrat presidential hopefuls was so tight in the Iowa caucus Monday that in at least six precincts, the decision on awarding a county delegate came down to a coin toss. And Clinton won all six, media reports said.
— Goose Duarte (@ImprovGoose) February 2, 2016
The situation came about in precincts where Sanders and Clinton were running neck-and-neck, but there were an odd number of delegates, so they couldn’t be evenly split between the two. That was the case in precincts in Ames, Newton, West Branch, Davenport and two in Des Moines, the Des Moines Register reported.
Here was one of those coin flips…
— Fernando Peinado (@FernandoPeinado) February 2, 2016
— Andrew Tadlock (@andytadlock) February 2, 2016
The Democrats’ caucus process wasn’t set up based on the raw vote like the Republicans’ was, and we don’t know what the raw popular vote was. We know that Clinton earned five more delegates than Bernie Sanders did, and we also know that Sanders hasn’t conceded in Iowa. In fact, he’s saying that results are incomplete in some 90 precincts so he’s not going anywhere.
But does it strike anyone else that nothing Clinton does is clean? That she simply can’t seem to accomplish anything without a suspicious cloud above her head?
Perhaps Hillary did get more votes than Sanders did last night. But when your slight winner is likely to be indicted and your slight loser is a communist, it doesn’t bode well for your future.
The partisans at Vox are more than a little worried about last night’s Charlie Foxtrot…
No modern political party’s establishment has ever tried as hard to package up a nomination and tie it off with a bow as the Democrats did for Clinton over the course of 2016. And it didn’t work out very well. The result ought to serve as a wake-up call to a Democratic Party elite that’s gotten a little smug and out of touch over the past few years.
Democratic leaders aren’t as smart as they think
The Clinton campaign’s strategy will, of course, be second-guessed as stumbling front-runners always are. But the larger problem is the way that party as a whole — elected officials, operatives, leaders of allied interest groups, major donors, greybeard elder statespersons, etc. — decided to cajole all viable non-Clinton candidates out of the race. This had the effect of making a Clinton victory much more likely than it would have been in a scenario when she was facing off against Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and Deval Patrick. But it also means that the only alternative to Clinton is a candidate the party leaders don’t regard as viable.
Trying to coordinate your efforts to prevent something crazy from happening is smart, otherwise you might wind up with Donald Trump. But trying to foreclose any kind of meaningful contact with the voters or debate about party priorities, strategy, and direction was arrogant and based on a level of self-confidence about Democratic leaders’ political judgment that does not seem borne out by the evidence. This is a party that has no viable plan for winning the House of Representatives, that’s been pushed to a historic lowpoint in terms of state legislative seats, and that somehow lost the governors mansions in New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois.
It’s a party, in other words, that was clearly in need of some dialogue, debate, and contestation over what went wrong and how to fix it. But instead of encouraging such a dialogue the party tried to cut it off. That leaves them with Sanders’ Political Revolution theory. It doesn’t seem very plausible to me, but at least it’s something.
That’s not what a winning party looks like. It’s what a party headed for disaster looks like.
Sanders is going to annihilate Clinton in New Hampshire a week from now, and from there we will hear a constant drip-drip-drip about her e-mails. By Super Tuesday we could be waiting on an indictment. And then what will the Democrats have?